Sonchirya Movie Review : Spiritual Vindication, Contrition and Reclamation!
Last Modified On: 28 February 2019 | Reviewed By: Team Moviekoop
Set in the Chambal Valley during 1975, Sonchiriya revolves around a gang of dacoits, trailed by a Policeman, who has a personal vendetta against them. Can they silence their inner demons or do they get consumed by it? forms rest of the plot. Gripping, tense and unpredictable, despite being a slow-burn western, Sonchiriya makes for a riveting watch.
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Abhishek Chaubey's dacoits walk the Gabbar gait, but without the crutch of the background score. Since we have grown up on the dramatic depiction of dacoits in Hindi cinema, the footsteps and the campy introductory music are sure to echo in our ears nonetheless.
But then the camera shifts its focus to the flies hovering around a dead snake, and we know that Chaubey will debunk every myth we have been fed about dacoit dramas.
Sonchiriya is an unofficial spin-off of Bandit Queen since it takes a key character from that film, Man Singh (Manoj Bajpayee), and tells the story of his gang, comprising the likes of Vakil Singh (Ranvir Shorey) and Lakhna (Sushant Singh Rajput). Each of them is undergoing an existential crisis fuelled by the remorse of killing innocent lives in the past.
However, they believe they are dacoits by birth and must serve their dharma. The rest of the film revolves around the journey of all the three characters to discover their dharma, and that hell of a ride involves rescuing an absconding woman Indumati (Bhumi Pednekar), a young rape survivor, and hiding from a police officer of another caste, Virender Singh Gujjar, who has a personal agenda to hunt them down.
Also Read: Lukka Chupi Vs Sonchiriya
The provocative film addresses the laws of nature… snakes prey on mice and vultures prey on snakes. Those who kill will be killed eventually. What’s also hard-hitting is its social commentary. Caste divide, gender discrimination, toxic patriarchy, deep-rooted superstitions and why revenge shouldn’t be confused with justice.
Though centred around dacoits, cops, gun battle, ambush and dangerous confrontations in the dark of the night, the film isn’t really about crime but the aftermath of it and the curse that follows the perpetrators of violence.
Vishal Bhardwaj’s music and Rekha Bhardwaj’s vocals signify the characters’ inner turmoil and the empathy you feel for their need to fight a losing battle against Gujjar (Ashutosh Rana as an unforgiving cop).
Also, the Bundelkhandi dialect introduced to add authenticity to proceedings is hard to grasp unless you are the sort who likes reading subtitles (like I do). Cinematographer Anuj Rakesh Dhawan has captured the barren ravines with love!